To the Girl in a Toxic Relationship

Relationships are complicated. Even the best of them. Opening yourself up to the possibility of heartbreak and blindly trusting someone else with the most fragile piece of your existence is genuinely terrifying. And sometimes we do crazy things for love, but the one thing you should never do is stay with someone who lowers your self worth. 

The thing about toxic relationships is that they are blinding. No matter how many of your friends tell you that he’s no good for you, or how many times he proves time and time again that they are in fact right, something pulls you back. Whether its the memories of the good times you used to have, or the strength of the love that is still there, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns. After all, we’re only human.

“No one is owed your affections. If you find yourself giving everything to please someone and aren’t receiving that same level of affection in return, you’re being taken advantage of.” - Audi, 23

You should never have to give away pieces of yourself to try to save someone else. Relationships should be about strengthening each-other, not tearing people down. Of course you’re going to make compromises, but it should never be to the point that it feels draining. If it ever gets to the point where you are more worried and upset than happy and having fun, this is a big red flag. While staying in a relationship until things get better might sound like a good idea at first, make sure things have a chance of actually getting better and you aren’t just manifesting this idea of the future in your head that your partner isn't working towards.  

“No matter how hard you try you can’t fix or change people. There’s only room for you to be there for them and support them, but they have to do the fixing themselves. I learned this the hard way when an ex of mine had family issues and I constantly tried to comfort him. He would take out all that anger and pent-up tension out on me (even after we broke up). After that, I learned the serenity prayer and applied it to my everyday life: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference between the two." - Jade, 19

When you’ve been with someone for a long time and been through so much together, it’s easier to trust them than to even consider the idea that they are hurting you. We want to believe the best in people, especially when that person means the world to you. When you’re with someone who has a way with manipulation, it's even harder to admit that to yourself. They’ve worked for so long meticulously planting the seed in your head that all the problems in the relationship somehow relate back to you that you begin to believe it. They have a way of inserting themselves into your thought process to the point that you have to consider whether or not they will be upset at even the everyday decisions that you are faced with. It shouldn’t be like this. 

Remember to always celebrate your independence even within a relationship. Someone who truly loves you and wants the best for you should make you feel confident, not doubtful. A relationship should never feel like a burden. 

“Never lose sight of your value. When you do, that’s when you start to get stuck in a toxic relationship. If it happens, know you are stronger than the pain you’ll feel. You can get through this relationship because you’re strong, beautiful, and you deserve better. Put yourself first.” -Emily, 19 

While walking away from a toxic relationship is painful, just remember that in the long run, it hurts less than staying. A few months of heartbreak doesn't compare to the everyday worry, hurt, and fear that toxic relationships are filled with. The uncertainty of the future without the person you've imagined it with for so long can be scary, but when you break free from a bad situation there will be so much more opportunity for happiness in your life. 

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